Children of the sun and moon

Children of the sun and moon

When we drift through ink-blue dusk
under the twigs of moon-white blossom,
under the crystal orbs of street-lamps,
under the shadeless signals of neon,

when we slide across concrete squares
and sail around sharp and rounded corners,
restless and vigorous, at home in the dark,
at home in the city, nocturnal birds,

we know deep down that we are still
children of the sun and moon:
the sun must rise in our eyes,
the moon must rise in our brain;

we must admit that we are still
children of the earth and sky:
the spring must rise in our bones,
the stars must rise in our veins.

Christina Egan © 2016

Abendstern (Kaum erspäh ich)

Abendstern

Kaum erspäh ich dich von fern
meinen klaren Abendstern

schlägt mein Herz schon
Purzelbäume
schlägt mein Geist schon
Wurzelträume

in die dunkelblaue Nacht
in die späte Sommerpracht

Park in the dusk, with heart-shaped illuminated decoration, forming a frame around a spire in the distance.

 

Dein Gesicht ist mein Gestirn
an dem schwarzen Himmelsschirm

niemand hört die
Purzelbäume
niemand sieht die
Wurzelträume

unter meinem festen Schritt
unter meinem ruhigen Blick

Niemand weiß von jenem Punkt
der mir funkelt der mir funkt

von den kühnen
Purzelbäumen
von den bunten
Wurzelträumen

niemand weiß was mich bewegt
wenn die Glocke zwölfmal schlägt

Christina Egan © 2011

Valentine’s Day on Gozo, Malta.
Photograph: Christina Egan © 2018.

This is the End (Yet all will be well)

This is the End

Most days are too harsh, and most days are too dark,
and most hours are trundling along through a void,
while the moons fade away, barely leaving a ray,
and proud cities, piled up to the clouds, are destroyed.

Yet all will be well, yes, it yet will be well,
and all manner of things will be well in the end,
when in fathomless bliss like a fathomless kiss
all the stars, all the spirits will brighten and blend.

Christina Egan © 2004


Lines five and six are a quote from Sister Julian of Norwich,
an English hermit and mystic who lived six hundred years ago.

In Advent, which this year starts today, Christians also think of
the inevitable and terrifying end of the world.

Massive stone walls piled upon each other

The Tower of Jericho, around 9,000 years old. Photograph:
Reinhard Dietrich (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons
.

Do Diamonds Die?

Do Diamonds Die?

Even diamonds die.
Empires erode,
battlements decay,
skyscrapers melt.

Not so what locks
your look into my look,
my heart into your heart.
Love will live.

With or without a night
or even a day,
a confession, a vow.
Love is born love.

Diamonds have grown for us,
as rare in the vast dark soil
as stars in the fathomless void.
Heaven does happen.

Christina Egan © 2004Engraving of hot-air balloon between layer of clouds and starred sky with moon.Illustration from a children’s book of 1896.
Image provided by British Library
through Flickr.

P.S.: Reader, he married me!  ;o)

Quiet Fire

Quiet Fire

In balmy darkness
I was floating
over sand and salt,
along the garland of lights,
below the curtain of stars…

One fell.
In a flash, I thought of
my distant beloved one,
in a flood, it came back,
the impossible future.

Decorative paper, black with ripples in grey, white, purple.He, too,
had come like a shooting-star,
fair, fast, in a sweeping curve,
with careless grace,
like a message from life.

Cold is the sea now and rough,
with dullness tainted the days
and the sparkling tent of the night.
The quiet fire has passed:
the face that mattered.

Around me is autumn,
and I know that spring will return
and my youth will not.
The voice that struck me is silent;
and my heart eats death.

Christina Egan © 2012

A memory of the Mediterranean Sea, where one can swim, and swim even in after dark, even into autumn…

Decorative paper. Image provided by British Library through Flickr.

By the River I was Sitting

By the River I was sitting

By the River I was sitting
Watching barges floating by
Like the clouds so full of promise
In the blue and burning sky

Bearing jewels, bearing silver
From the mountains crowned with snow
Bearing spices, sweet and fiery
From the jungles down below

By the River I was waiting
For a boat to pick me up
Till the oars were folded inward
And the city-gates were shut

On my roof-top I was watching
Night like lapis-lazuli
While the stars were slowly rolling
Round the tiny lonely me

By Two Rivers I was dwelling
In a house of golden bricks
In my dress of snow and silver
Waving to intrepid ships

When the stars had come full circle
Strangers broke my city-gate
And my boat lay by the palm-trees
Finest date-wine was its freight

And it flew against the current
And it floated with the storm
Till I climbed the purple mountains
Where the River Twins are born

Christina Egan © 2011

Jar, elegantly curved, with brown and blue glaze.

 

This song of the woman by the river is taken
from my stage play The Bricks of Ur  (© 2011).

Place: City of Ur, Mesopotamia — Time: 2000 B.C.

Photograph: Assyrian jar (9th to 7th c. BC).
© The Trustees of the British Museum.

au jour des ténèbres

au jour des ténèbres

Three tall gothic windows with modern stained galss, abstract and subdued.au jour des ténèbres
une chandelle dansait
au jour des funèbres
une fleur étincelait

à l’heure de silence
une voix m’a touché
à l’heure de souffrance
une main m’a brossé

à l’aube très lente
une étoile est surgie
dans l’âme patiente
la lueur s’élargit

comme si la souffrance
se tintait de bleu
ô douce espérance
qui baigne les yeux

Christina Egan © 2018

This poem was inspired by a French church service where the words ‘souffrance’… ‘silence’… ‘patience’… seemed to echo in the dark church on a dull Good Friday…

Windows in St Nicholas, Ghent. Photograph: Christina Egan © 2018.

Yellow Fire (April Haiku)

Yellow Fire
(April Haiku)

*

Little rust-red leaves,
no, blood-red in the sunlight,
there, throbbing with life!

*

White stars are floating,
above the ancient tombstones,
on the slanting tree.

*

Little lime-green leaves
running along the hedges,
look, like yellow fire!

*

Christina Egan © 2017

Drawing of three old-fashioned spinning tops.Illustration from
‘Children’s games throughout the year’ 
(1949) by Leslie Daiken.

Sambation

Sambation

O daß der Mühlenräderlärm der Plätze
verrauschte wie ein Sommerwolkenbruch,
das grelle purzelnde Geröll der Menge
versiegte in der Großstadtstraßenschlucht,

auf daß das Flußbett sich durchwandern ließe
an Pforten, Traufen, Blumentrog vorbei
und nur die Schwalbe in die Stille stoße,
hoch, froh, mit Sichelflug und Silberschrei.

O daß die Lichterstrecken, Lichterhaufen
verblaßten wie das Nordlicht überm Meer,
auf daß die Sterne aus dem Dunkel tauchten
wie ein mit Bronze überglänztes Heer!

Christina Egan © 2017


The mythical river Sambation at the edge of the known world cannot be crossed because it is wild and full of mud and rocks — or even consists of rocks instead of water.

Here, the busy streets of a big city are experienced as a ravine full of tumbling stones, while the screech like grinding millstones; by night, the galaxies of lamplights drown the stars.

The opposite images are the quiet riverbeds of empty streets; the silent sky punctuated by the flight and cry of a swallow; and then the stars re-emerging…

This poem will be published in the German-language calendar Münsterschwarzacher Bildkalender 2019 (available from mid-August).